The Full 9 Yards sponsored Blackburn Hawks fell just short of pulling off a surprise win at the nest on Saturday night.
Up against a formidable opponent, Hawks took the game to them and provided the crowd with their best performance of the season so far.
A blistering start saw the home side take the lead with just 30 seconds on the clock when Danny Nomanovas picked out James Royds to score with a lovely wrister to make it 1-0. Second assist went to Bobby Streetley. Telford were rattled and under the cosh for the next 5 minutes as a confident Hawks side attacked whenever possible. The equaliser came with 8.31 gone when Brodie Jesson scored at the back post after a good save by Harrison Walker, assisted by Scott McKenzie and Cory Goodison.
Hawks hit back almost immediately when Captain Luke Boothroyd hit a belter from the hash marks that surprised Thomas Hovell, who only reacted after the puck was nestling in the back of the net. Goal scored unassisted at 9.02. The remainder of the period was fairly even and a buoyant home side went to the dressing room in good spirits.
Peter Valusiak went to the box on a hooking call on 35.45 and it was to prove costly as Telford upped their game against the short handed Hawks. Telford put their big guns out and the trio of Jason Silverthorn , Warren Tait and Scott Mckenzie started to work on the Hawks defence. Jason Silverthorn was, as usual, in the right place at the right time to find the net on 36.32, assisted by Warren Tait and Jack Watkins. Just over a minute later Telford took the lead with a goal that Harry Kane would be proud of when Scott McKenzie scored off his helmet past the despairing Harrison Walker. Assists went to Adam Taylor and Joseph Hazeldine. Tempers frayed at the end of the period when a late hit by Andy McKinney was called and a melée ensued. After the handbags were put away, McKinney got 2 minutes for the late hit and 2+2 for fighting, James Riddoch received 2 minutes for a high stick, Craig Lutkevitch was awarded 2+2 for fighting and Brodie Jesson picked up a match penalty for a sucker punch. All that ended the period and Telford went in with a 3-2 lead.
The third period was a nip and tuck affair with Telford holding on to their lead and proving very dangerous on the break. Hawks worked hard and only the end product was missing. Andy McKinney completed his night with a match penalty for High Stick on 49.27. This was later downgraded to a game as the Hawks player returned to the ice. This put Blackburn on a five minute power play but Telford put the game to bed with a break out short handed strike from veteran Rick Plant, assisted by Jason Silverthorn, who had his initial shot well saved by Harrison Walker. That was the end of the scoring and it was a relieved Telford who left the ice, knowing that the Hawks pushed them all the way.
Assistant Coach James Neil said after the game,” Everybody put in 100% effort all game. We have talked about playing the full 60 minutes and each and every one of the guys did that tonight. Telford are a good side with great experience and depth, but we matched them for most of the game and I thought we were unlucky not to take something from tonight. Plenty of positives to take from the game and we can use this to move on. There is more to come from this team and the morale in the dressing room is high despite the loss.”